Introduction to Industrial Accident Injury Compensation
The term “industrial accidents” can cover any workplace incidents in which you sustain an injury in avoidable circumstances due to the negligence of your employer. A claim for industrial accident compensation has to show you sustained a quantifiable injury due to a breach in your employer´s duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to work.
A near miss – unless you have sustained a quantifiable psychological injury as a result – will not entitle you to claim for industrial accident injury compensation, nor will any injury sustained in an industrial accident where you were primarily to blame for the incident occurring, or where you were solely responsible for your injuries due to your own lack of care.
Making Your Health a Priority
After any industrial accident, you first priority must be that of your health. No amount of industrial accident injury compensation will make up for a permanent health issue that could have been avoided with timely medical attention. Furthermore, should an injury deteriorate due to your own lack of care, you may find the settlement of your claim is insufficient to meet your needs.
In the event of minor injuries, it is not uncommon for workers to “work through the pain”. This can give a false impression that your injury was not that serious, and cast doubt over any subsequent compensation claim. Therefore, even if you received first aid at the scene of your accident, it is vital you undergo a medical examination at the accident and emergency department of your local hospital or at your GPs surgery at the earliest possible opportunity.
Establishing Negligence in Industrial Accidents
In the most serious industrial accidents, a Health and Safety Executive investigation will determine whether your employer´s negligence is responsible for your injuries and, in lesser cases, the testimony of witnesses to your accident – along with your own account of what happened – will often be sufficient to support a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.
Negligence can manifest in many different ways, from failing to conduct a thorough risk assessment to failing to provide appropriate training, and from failing to provide suitable personal protective equipment to failing to provide adequate supervision when required.
Therefore, even when an action – or the lack of action – by a colleague or supervisor is responsible for you sustaining an injury in an industrial accident, you are still entitled to make an industrial accident injury compensation claim against your employer. This is how the Health and Safety Executive would interpret the issue of negligence, and therefore the law in a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.
Making a Claim for Industrial Accident Compensation
Once it has been established that you have sustained an injury attributable to a lack of care by your employer to provide you with a safe environment in which to work, you are eligible to make a claim for industrial accident compensation. You should seek professional legal advice about claiming compensation to ensure you receive a fair settlement in the minimum amount of time. It is also ideal to have somebody with experience of such matters attending to your claim while you may still be recovering from your injury.
The solicitor will calculate how much compensation you are entitled to receive and – depending on the amount – start a pre-action protocol to fast-track your claim through the legal process, or send a formal letter of claim to your employer and their insurers. When a sufficiently strong claim is entered and supported with clear proof of liability for your injuries, settlement of your industrial accident compensation claim can be completed quickly.
How Much Compensation for Industrial Accidents?
How much compensation for industrial accident injury you are entitled to receive will depend on the extent and severity of your injury, how long it may take to recover from your accident and your age, sex and general standard of health prior to the accident taking place. The effect that your injury has on your quality of life will also be taken into account, along with any emotional trauma you might have experienced.
Any financial costs you have incurred due to the accident will also be recovered in compensation for industrial accident injury, and these can include any payments you have made for medical treatment, any costs of alternative travel arrangements if you are unable to drive, and any loss of income, overtime or pension contributions which are directly attributable to your accident.
Claims for Industrial Accident Compensation and Insurance Companies
Due to the potential size of industrial accident injury compensation settlements, you may be approached by your employer´s insurance company with an offer of early settlement – sometimes even before you have contemplated taking legal advice. Insurance companies are keen to reduce their costs wherever possible, and one of the areas in which they can make significant savings is by paying reduced amounts of compensation for industrial accident injury.
Consequently, the insurance company will make you an offer of compensation, which may be less than a solicitor would calculate you are entitled to, but will offer to pay it immediately. Although you may be particularly concerned about your short-term financial security, these offers of compensation for industrial accident injury should always be referred to your solicitor. If you inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer – and the funds run out before you are able to return to work – you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more.
No Win No Fee Industrial Accident Injury Compensation Claims
Most solicitors offer “No Win, No Fee” legal representation in claims for industrial accident injury compensation. This means that if, for any reason, your claim for industrial accident injury compensation fails, you will not owe your solicitor for their legal fees. However, you may be responsible for some costs associated with the preparation of your case and the defendant´s legal fees.
If you have “before-the-event” legal fees insurance attached to a home contents or car insurance policy, it may be advisable to take advantage of your existing insurance. If not, it is possible to take an “after-the-event” insurance policy to protect yourself against high defence costs. Due to a change in the law, you will be liable for the premiums on the policy if your claim is successful, along with your solicitor´s “success fee”.
Your solicitor will discuss the options available to you when you first speak with them to ensure you are not exposed to a significant financial risk when making your claim.
Industrial Accident Compensation Summary
It is understandable that some people will be apprehensive in the current economic climate about making a claim for industrial accident injury compensation, for fear of damaging relationships with an employer or jeopardising future job prospects. The law protects claimants in all work injury claims from repercussions in the workplace but, if this is a concern to you, you should discuss this with a solicitor as soon as possible.
All solicitors offer a free initial consultation during which you can explain the circumstances of your accident, the consequences of your injury and why you believe your employer may be at fault. Naturally, all calls to solicitors are completely confidential and you should never be placed under any pressure to proceed with a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.